MJA CAMs criticism misguided: Gibson


Complementary Medicines Australia says it’s disappointed by the “misguided” approach in a recent editorial published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

The editorial, Pharmacists selling CAM doesn’t wash, attempts to dismiss the proven benefits of complementary medicines, CMA says, and “completely fails to acknowledge the significant and every-growing body of research that exists to support these products”.

“With two out of three people using complementary medicines, it will be a huge shame for Australian consumers if this type of one-sided approach influences the recognition of the very real contribution that complementary medicines can make to health, wellness and people-centred health care through appropriate integration into health systems,” says Carl Gibson, CEO of CMA.

“Recent reports have indicated that selected complementary medicines are both highly efficacious and cost effective, especially in the prevention and management of chronic conditions”

He cites a 2014 Frost & Sullivan report, ‘Targeted Use of Complementary Medicines: Potential Health Outcomes and Cost Savings in Australia,’ which he says shows robust links between several of the more well-known complementary medicines with reduced risk of a secondary disease event among high-risk groups, and with major potential healthcare cost savings.

“This sort of approach negates the ability of health professionals to participate in putting the patient at the centre of care by declaring that the use of an entire practice of health management is ‘unethical’,” says Gibson.

“If it shows anything at all, the editorial highlights the fact that some fringe practitioners fall short of the cohesive and integrative approach that will ultimately allow consumers to access complementary medicines in an effective, safe and respectful manner.”

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